Female veterans are the fastest growing population of veterans in the U.S., totaling approximately 2 million as of 2017. Accordingly, VA has expanded its healthcare services to better accommodate the growing number of female veterans in the VA healthcare system.
Women veterans are now able to utilize a Women Veterans Program Manager, put in place at each VA Medical center to advise and advocate for women veterans. These program managers can assist female veterans with everything from accessing primary care medical services to specialized care for reproductive health or chronic conditions.
Additionally, VA has established a Women Veterans Call Center with the goal of fielding questions from female veterans, their families, and caregivers regarding VA services available. The Women Veterans Call Center can be reached at 855-VA-WOMEN.
Most Common Disabilities Among Women Veterans as of 2015
According to VA’s 2015 Women Veterans Report, women veterans most often face the following service-connected disabilities.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder accounts for 12% of all service-connected disabilities among women veterans, totaling about 48,000 women.
- Major Depressive Disorder. Approximately 26,500 female veterans were service connected for major depressive disorder.
- Over 24,000 women veterans received disability compensation for migraine headaches.
- Back Pain (Lumbosacral or cervical strain). Roughly 22,200 women veterans were service connected for lumbosacral or cervical strain.
- Uterus and Ovaries, Removal of, Complete. About 12,700 women veterans had the complete removal of their ovaries and uterus. An additional 10,500 women had this same procedure, however, required the removal of the corpus as well. This totals over 23,000 female veterans in 2015.
Healthcare Services at VA for Women Veterans
Based on the numbers above, women veterans require access to a broad array of healthcare services to meet their specific needs. This is why VA offers female veterans access to primary care, mental health care, and specialty care including the following:
- Health evaluations and counseling
- Mental health evaluation and assistance for:
- Depression, mood, and anxiety disorders
- Domestic violence
- Sexual trauma
- Elder abuse or neglect
- Anger management
- Marital, caregiver, or family-related stress
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and post-deployment adjustment
- Military sexual trauma (MST) counseling and treatment
- Disease prevention
- Nutrition counseling
- Weight control
- Smoking cessation
- Substance abuse counseling
- Gender specific primary care such as:
- Cervical cancer screenings (pap smears)
- Breast cancer screenings (mammograms)
- Birth control
- Preconception counseling
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
- Menopausal support (hormone replacement therapy)
- Management and screening of chronic conditions such as:
- Heart disease
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Reproductive care such as:
- Maternity care and 7 days of newborn care
- Infertility evaluation and limited treatment
- Sexual dysfunction
- Tubal ligation
- Urinary incontinence
- Rehabilitation, at-home, and long-term care including
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Recreational therapy
- Exercise therapy
- Vocational therapy
Visit the Women Veterans Health Care page on VA’s website for more information.